Daredevil may be the only series left in the disappointing Netflix Marvel universe that I care about at this point. However, knowing the basis for the story and loving these characters from the previous seasons, my expectations were sky high for Daredevils return on Netflix.
Those lofty expectations come from the brilliant comic story arc ‘Born Again’ by Frank Miller. No spoilers, but the events and tests puts Matt Murdoch through are engrossing and a chance to see that translated into live action in this series is tantalising.
All the cast we know return, with Charlie Cox crushing it in the role of Matt Murdoch once again. Deborah Anne Woll and Elden Henson return as Karen Page and Foggy Nelson, and the former gives their best performance as the reporter with a dark history. Foggy is the best he’s been, with less cheesiness than in previous seasons.
As er, there is some new supporting characters introduced this season, and Ray Nadeem played by Jay Ali really added an interesting dynamic to the story unfolding. Ben Poindexter, played by Wilson Bethel, is solid, but I felt a little over the top at times. It’s hard to discuss those characters much without spoilers.
One character who I do have to write a lot about though, and it’ll come as no surprise to fans of the previous seasons, is Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk. He is now, in my opinion at least, the 2nd best villain marvel have ever done. Only Thanos in Infinity War can top him, and that’s a close race. Fisk is always 4 steps ahead, plotting from the very first scene to the end of the season. You’re constantly intrigued, intimidated, and captivated by the character. D’Onofrio perfectly captures the lethal gentleman, and the determined rage bubbling away behind his eyes.
All these solid performances would mean nothing without an engrossing story, and this twist on the Born Again arc provides just that. This series manages to avoid the filler episodes, a regular flaw that most Marvel Netflix series have. Each episode has a point to it, whether it’s immediately obvious or not, everything sewn early on comes back to pay dividends later in the series.
The seasons biggest flaw for me was a grindingly slow start. It starts off at a snails pace, but around episode 3-4 things start picking up pace. One of the most memorable and brilliantly executed prices of filmmaking this year for me is in one of these episodes. Taking inspiration from the one shot hallway scenes in the previous two seasons of the show, this season kicks things up another and i was genuinely amazed when I realised what was happening from a technical point of view.
Daredevil season three might well be one of the last in the Marvel Netflix run, with Luke Cage and Iron Fist being cancelled, but its taken the peices crafted over the last 26 episodes of Daredevil, a the 8 episodes of The Defenders, and crafted a truly brilliant series I loved. It’s rare a TV show gets its hooks in me now, with games, movies, and YouTube competing for limited time, I’m happy this series paid off.
Good: Performances, Fisk, Action Scenes, character interactions enthralling to watch.
Bad: Slow start, Poindexter a little over the top.
9/10 – The Man Without Fear delivers